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'Prices have dropped 19% in US$ terms but soared in RTGS$' says Ncube - scrap RTGS$ then, cowardly lion pulling his own tail

23 Jun 2019 at 17:12hrs | Views
FINANCE Minister Mthuli Ncube says prices of basic goods in terms of RTGS$ were "grossly inflated" adding that Treasury calculations indicate prices were in fact going down.
 
"Prices for basic goods in the consumption basket in Zimbabwe have dropped by an average 19% in US$ terms, from January to June 2019," Mthuli posted on social media.
 
"Prices in terms of RTGS$ terms are therefore grossly inflated."
 
This is a nonsense argument going round and round in circles and going nowhere!
 
If the RTGS$ is causing confusion in the economy, causing prices to go up when, as far as the US$ is concerned, prices are going down; then the Minister should just scrap the RTGS$ and pay the civil servants and soldiers in US$!
 
It is the same government that introduced the local currency in the form of Bond coins, then Bond Notes, Ecocash and now RTGS$. It is within the power of the regime to scrap the local currency and revert back to the basket of US$, British £, Botswana Pula and South African Rand of 2009 or just use one of them.
 
The local currency was reintroduced to easy the shortage of money for even internal transactions. We all remember the queues at the Bank to withdraw US$20 or less a day!
 
"People do not need US$ to buy tomatoes on the street corner!" the then Minister of Finance Patrick Chinamasa had argued in support of introducing the Bond coins.
 
Now the new flamboyant minister Professor Mthuli Ncube is tell us we would be better off buying the tomatoes in US$ after all!
 
The truth is Zimbabwe's economic meltdown there soon after the scrapping of the Z$ in 2009, was still there and getting worse when Chinamasa introduced the Bond coins/ Note and was still there and getting even worse when flamboyant Ncube took over. The root causes of Zimbabwe's economic turmoil are gross mismanagement, rampant corruption and institutionalised lawlessness that have made it impossible to do business in Zimbabwe and scarred away investors.
 
Whilst the scrapping of the Z$ in 2009 helped to end the country's runaway hyperinflation that had soared to 500 billion% helped to restore some sanity in the country, it was not enough to restore investor confidence and hence the reason there was no economic recovery. Indeed, even during the GNU years, the most stable period in the last decade, there were companies closures than start-ups. Proof that the economic recovery will not depend on which currency is legal tender alone but on addressing the other economic fundamentals such as ending corruption and holding free, fair and credible election to end the country's pariah state curse.
 
In the Wizard of Oz, the is a comical scene where the Cowardly Lion is asking the others to talk him out of going to see the Wizard of Oz.
 
Cowardly Lion: Because I'm still scared. [He yelps]
Scarecrow: What happened?
 Cowardly Lion: Somebody pulled my tail!
Scarecrow: Oh, you did it yourself.
 
We are having an allegory, a pantomime, of the Wizard of Oz cowardly lion in Zimbabwe. Our cowardly minister is scarred to admit Zimbabwe is a pariah state ruled by corrupt and vote rigging thugs and that, as long as that remains the case, there will be no meaningful economic recovery. None! And so our flamboyant Minister-Know-It-All introduced the RTGS$ and now he is blaming the currency for the worsening economic meltdown; the cowardly lion scarring himself silly after pulling his own tail!

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